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Metra boss is chided for views on CTA

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Chicago Tribune

The Cook County Board weighed in on the testy debate over regional transit funding Tuesday, with one member saying he was upset by comments Metra's chairman made about the Chicago Transit Authority last week.

During a Metra budget presentation to the board, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) said he was "very disheartened" to learn that Jeff Ladd would not cooperate with the CTA's attempt to obtain more funding during the legislature's veto session next month. Instead, Ladd has said he would go to Springfield to protect Metra's money.

"I think that maybe Mr. Ladd has been there too long if he believes he can stand alone," said Suffredin.

Suffredin was reacting to comments Ladd made Friday. After a Metra board meeting, Ladd said he believed the CTA's plan to seek more dollars from lawmakers was a ploy to take money from Metra.

CTA officials have denied that is the case.

Also Tuesday, county Commissioner Deborah Sims (D-Chicago) said Ladd's failure to show up for Tuesday's budget presentation shows he's "out of touch."

Ladd could not be reached for comment.

The CTA hopes to secure $82.5 million during the legislative veto session to address its projected 2005 deficit. It also wants the General Assembly to tackle the regional funding formula that disburses money to CTA, Pace and Metra. That concerns many suburban officials who fear they could lose coveted transportation dollars if legislators tinker with the formula.

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